I had an enjoyable gathering with my ex-classmates last night. It has been eight years since we last met and we had a lot to talk about.

We were talking about the major incidents that happened during the past eight years and that’s when the topic shifted to our health. While our physical appearance has not changed much, our body has. One of my classmates shared with us on his experience during a routine tonsil and sinus surgery. The surgery was a success but after a few days, he developed an infection and was literally coughing out blood. Fortunately after another op, he recovered. The total cost of the operation is about 20k. The cost is on the high side and we were wondering why he chose a private hospital over a government one. That’s when he shared his many bad experiences dealing with doctors in government hospitals. He asked us “When you fall ill, do you want the doctor to choose you or do you want to choose the doctor?”

He goes on to share about his mother’s health – she woke up one day and can only walk with a near ninety degree bend. He has no hesitation in sending her to the hospital immediately. He got me thinking further by asking “Do you want to have to have an additional worry on the cost of the hospital bills?” In case you are wondering, the cost eventually add up to $100K due to other surgical procedures.

My friend is no agent but his experience would have been an ideal example for insurance companies. I do already have a private shield plan but after my friend’s experience, I begin to ponder if it’s enough.

It is a balance between wanting the best against affordability. I’m calculating if I can afford to upgrade my AIA and partner’s Aviva plan, and also include riders to cover the deductible and co-insurance. As for my parents, I will like to upgrade their AIA shield plans but leave out the riders as it would be too expensive.

In addition to cost, my other concern is underwriting. All of us are currently covered without any exclusion and although we have no major illness, I’m still worried that the upgraded plan may exclude certain conditions – especially since I was warded due to an accident and my mom went for a womb test. A few years ago, I planned to upgrade my parents AIA shield plan to NUTC but gave up due to NTUC ‘s extremely strict underwriting. If I remember, they wanted my parents to go for a checkup and an interview.

My AIA agent assured me that if there are any exclusions, that condition(s) will still be covered under the old plan. Is this true and is this applicable to all Shield Plans or only if you are upgrading within the same insurer? I cannot see how I can be covered by both NTUC and AIA shield plan at the same time.

I would also like to hear from those who have upgraded their Shield Plans.